Capco's 3,000 employees, who are spread out geographically, post their most ambitious goals for the year electronically for all colleagues to see and they, as well as executives, can issue "nudges" and "cheers" to each other.
"Transparency is a tough culture change, particularly for management," Mr. Gormley said. "We're not used to admitting that we're not perfect." He noted that 12 people had nudged him electronically, versus 52 cheers.
Other work force developers are enhancing the traditional process of evaluating employees, which used to be annual and backward looking. Now it is more spontaneous.
Amazon, the e-commerce giant, uses an internal tool called Anytime Feedback, which allows employees to submit praise or criticism to management. The company says most of the remarks are positive, though some Amazon employees complain that the process can be hidden and harsh.
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Workday, which is based in the Bay Area, has developed a tool called Collaborative Anytime Feedback. Colleagues use it to salute each other — everyone in the company can see who is saying what.
"People wouldn't put something negative in a public forum, because it would reflect poorly on them," said Amy Wilson, Workday vice president of human capital management products.
The software also enables employees to comment privately, however, to a colleague's manager. Workday says these remarks range from positive to at least constructive.
Workday also sells an employee time-tracking program, which it advertises as being able to increase worker productivity, along with reducing labor costs — presumably in human relations departments — and minimizing compliance risks.
Brown University is one of Workday's customers, offering an endorsement on the company's site. A university spokesman declined to comment on how the program was used at the Rhode Island campus.
Some say time tracking simply replaces a manual time sheet and encourages honesty.
"We tell people not to focus on the Big Brother aspect. This is all about efficiency," said Joel Slatis, founder of Timesheets.com, which makes clock-in software used by 1,400 small companies. "If you fill out a paper timecard and write down 8 a.m. when you come in at 8:02, no one is going to bat an eye. But if you do that when you leave too, that means you're getting 5 minutes more a day. After a year, that's a few days more vacation."
Jamie Clausen, who clocks in and out of her job in customer service at a State Farm insurance office in Silicon Valley from her home using Timesheets, says she accepts it as a modern reality.